Ground Report | New Delhi: About 16.6 per cent of the land is now in the form of protected areas, a new report released by the United Nations Protected Planet Report 2020 has been revealed.
On the other hand, if we talk about the total area of this area, then it is spread over 2.25 crore square kilometers. According to the report, if an area of 20 lakh square kilometers is added to this area, then we will fully achieve the Aichi Biodiversity Target-11.
Since the beginning of the last decade, there has been an increase of about 42 percent in these protected areas. From the size point of view, it has become almost seven times the size of India since 2010. The report was released on 19 May by the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).
At the same time, the protected area of the seas has more than tripled since 2010, despite that it is only 8% of the sea, which is still behind the 10% target set in Aichi Biodiversity Target-11. This area has now increased to about 28.8 million square kilometers.
However, if we look at the data, we have almost achieved the goal of converting terrestrial areas into protected areas. At the same time, we are close to achieving the target set for the maritime areas, but is it enough to declare these areas as protected areas only? In how many of these areas is biodiversity actually being preserved, it matters more. The report has shown that some protected areas are doing far better than others to save biodiversity and ecosystems.
Fencing alone is not enough in the name of security
According to UNEP Executive Director Inger Anderson, the target he has achieved is impressive. Countries deserve congratulations for this, but we have to understand that much more is yet to be done. According to him, fencing only in the name of security is not enough. We also have to ensure that the protection there is according to the prescribed standards.
According to him, these areas play an important role in reducing the impact of climate change. It absorbs about one-fifth of the total carbon absorbed by the ground. Although there has been a significant increase in protected areas, in spite of this, there is a rapid decline in biodiversity worldwide. According to another UN report , about 1 million species are in danger of extinction.
A recent research has shown that between 1960 and 2019, there has been a change in the land use of about 43 million square kilometers. The result of this is that there has been a net decrease of 8 lakh square kilometers in the forest areas. This is really a matter of concern.
At the same time , according to another research published in the journal Frontiers in Forest and Global Change, only 2.8 percent of the earth has remained untouched. At the same time, only less than 3 percent of the animals on earth are living in their original and natural state. It is estimated that only 11 percent of the areas that are still untouched fall within the protected areas. Many of these areas are still preserved by their original inhabitants, who are playing an important role in protecting them.
In such a situation, to maintain these protected areas, it is necessary to preserve the original inhabitants and their practices, because these people are the true guards of these areas. Without their development, it is not possible to maintain biodiversity.